Saturday, 13 December 2014

Nasty Party or Nazi Party?

Come next May there is a real need to beat the Conservatives. Another five years of a Tory-led coalition, as I'm guessing the two horse race for No 10 is a thing of the past, will be catastrophic for the country.

As a disabled person I fear for my future under a Conservative-led coalition made up of Tories, UKIP, SNP (??), and assorted Ulster unionists. Depending on how many seats they win, UKIP would push the coalition further to the right. With Duncan-Smith in charge of the DWP there is no hope for a last minute reprieve for ILF, universal credit will be deployed, it will be business as usual with the Work Capability Assessment WCA and Access to Work will see further cuts.

Yet within 5 months to a general election I'm disappointed that people within the disability movement are still screaming ‘Nazi!’ at this government; and deploying concentration camp imagery in support of their disapprobation with the government's disgraceful and inhumane treatment of disabled people and other target groups in our midst.  

This country has a government mainly dominated by nasty Tories. The policies this government has put in place, especially the  (WCA), benefits’ sanctions and the bedroom tax (with a universal credit to come), are forcing millions into real poverty. It is also criminally responsible for the deaths of thousands of people wrongly assessed by the WCA or taken off benefits through sanctions.

The difference between this Tory led coalition and the Nazi Party in the 1930s and 40s is that the latter had programmes in place specifically to kill people, including the use of euthanasia as part of a wider eugenics programme. This resulted in the legalised killing of up to 200,000 disabled people.

Later the Nazis began the extermination of European Jewry. Again this programme sprang from a policy that deliberately set out to order the annihilation of an entire ethnic/religious grouping.

Are there parallels between the Nazis and the Tory led ConDem government? The answer is obviously ‘yes’ in that both regimes had or have a low esteem of disabled people. Both have used propaganda to demonise and vilify those they wish to attack politically. The policies of both parties have resulted in the deaths of thousands of disabled people.

What we as a movement need to do is to hold up neo-liberalist economics as the malignant force behind this government’s neglect and attacks on sections of the population such as disabled people. In my experience calling this government, or its predecessor, ‘Nazi’ does not resonate with the majority of the country. Much of the public is turned off when they see us using Nazi and concentration camp imagery to get our point across; because they don’t identify the government in those terms.

Nazism was a phenomenon that captured and ensnared great swathes of Europe eighty years ago; and enjoying power in the Iberian Peninsula as recently as the mid-1970s. This doesn't mean we should not remain vigilant and resist the Fascism and Nazism when and where we can.

However, at the same time we must get across to the public the message that neoliberalism is a harmful and hateful ideology. That neoliberal economic policies are to blame for the current deficit; a direct result of casino banking. That disabled and unemployed people did not cause the crisis; but rather an under-regulated banking system operating along neolib lines was responsible.

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